Graduation Timeline

As you approach the completion of your Ph.D. program, you will need to following the appropriate process for graduation. The procedure for May and December graduation is different than the procedure for a summer graduation.

General Procedure

  1. The dissertation examination committee needs to consist of five or more approved faculty members, the majority of whom are CDG graduate faculty (not necessarily faculty of the two departments per se).

At least one CDG graduate faculty member of the committee must be from Carolina and at least one from Duke. The chair/primary advisor can be from either institution but must be affiliated with CDG.

All tenured/tenure track graduate faculty of both German departments are considered CDG graduate faculty and can serve as chair/primary advisor and should make up the majority of the five-person committee. Affiliated, adjunct, and non-tenure track faculty can be the other two committee members but should not serve as chair/primary advisor or count as the CDG majority.

If there are academic needs for exceptions here, both Graduate Schools are very willing to entertain hearing them.

  1. The format of the dissertation follows UNC guidelines for electronic dissertations. Please follow the UNC guidelines through the ETD Resources and Guide:
  1. The dissertation is to be electronically submitted to and approved by the UNC Graduate School. When you upload to ProQuest from the UNC site, use the UNC program called "Carolina-Duke Joint Program in German Studies".
  2. The UNC Graduate School will take responsibility for getting the final, approved dissertation to the Duke Graduate School for archiving. The student does not need to be involved in this.

After you submit your dissertation at UNC, it will be deposited in UNC’s ProQuest archive and UNC Library databases, and it will also be archived in DukeSpace (Duke Library computer archive). Duke’s Graduate School must have the DSpace License for students to load the dissertation; please complete this form and submit to the Duke Graduate School.

  1. Each Graduate School organizes a hooding ceremony for its doctoral graduates, in which the student receives their hood from their advisor or another faculty member. The hooding ceremonies typically take place on a Saturday in May; the university-wide commencement events typically take place on the following Sunday.

Students will have to choose to attend one or the other if they occur in the same timeframe (scheduling can vary each year). The faculty suggest that the student be hooded at the university where the faculty member doing the hooding (usually the dissertation advisor) has their primary appointment. We urge students to talk with their advisor early about this.

Students will be required to wear the academic regalia of the university holding the hooding ceremony they choose to attend, without any special adornment signifying the joint nature of their degree program. UNC-CH regalia is to be worn at the UNC hooding, and Duke regalia at the Duke hooding. Students may be able to borrow or rent regalia instead of purchasing both.

  1. While we attempt below to provide the proper deadlines and expectations, you should always check deadlines at both UNC and Duke, and always comply with the earlier deadline for the term (fall, spring, or summer) in which you wish to defend and graduate, regardless of your academic home:

 

Timeline for Spring or Fall Graduation

With the exception of the UNC deadline for the final electronic submission of the dissertation, the timeline for graduation activities follows Duke deadlines. All graduation activities should be performed at both schools because both campuses need to “clear” each student for degree conferral.

  1. The first deadline is for the application to graduate, typically in late January for May graduation and in September for December graduation.

By this time the “Apply for Graduation” form needs to be submitted at Duke (via ACES).

Also by this same (Duke) deadline, you must “Apply for Graduation” at UNC (via ConnectCarolina).

  1. The second deadline: At Duke, all of you will need to ensure that your final Ph.D. Committee has been approved by the Duke Graduate School a minimum of 30 days before your final defense date. You can see your current committee on ACES. Your Prelim committee was approved before your Prelims; however, you will most likely need a new approval, since any changes or additions must be approved. For example, if you were to plan to defend on April 1, you would need to ask the Duke German Department to submit a committee approval form before the end of February. The committee must be approved by the Duke German DGS, after which the form is submitted electronically to the Duke Graduate School.

At the same time, you should also submit the names of your final Ph.D. Committee to the UNC GSLL staff, so that it can be submitted to the UNC Graduate School.

  1. The third deadline is the final date to hold the dissertation defense to receive the degree. This date is determined by the Duke Graduate School and is generally in early April for May graduation and in November for December graduation. The day and time for your defense should be scheduled well in advance.

At least 10 days prior to the defense, in order to obtain the Duke final doctoral exam card, all students should provide the Duke Graduate School their Dissertation Defense Announcement and Advisor Statement specifying the dissertation is ready to be defended. This form should be submitted to the CDG staff at both universities. Once approved, the CDG staff will submit to the Duke Graduate School at gradacademics@duke.edu, after which students will be asked to make an appointment to pick up their card at the Duke Graduate School.

  1. The fourth deadline is the final date to submit the electronic version of your approved dissertation to the UNC Graduate School, including any revisions requested by your committee at the time of the defense. Do note that if revisions are requested and the defense took place very near the final date allowed, the timing between the defense and filing/submission could be very tight. This date is determined by the UNC Graduate School and is generally in mid-April for May graduation and in mid-November for December graduation.

Please note that the Duke deadline for the dissertation defense (#3 above) MIGHT sometimes fall after the deadline to upload your dissertation at UNC (#4 above), so please always time your defense early enough to allow yourself time to meet the submission deadline.

  1. The fifth deadline is the final date to be cleared for all degree requirements at Duke and be placed on the graduation list for approval by the Duke Board of Trustees. Students should note in the university exam schedules when their final course exams are scheduled and determine when final grades are expected. Please speak with your advisor and CDG program staff as early as possible if timing could be tight between your last exam and the Duke final clearance date. This date is determined by Duke and is generally 72 hours after all final grades are due at Duke each term.

Departmental Timelines:

Please note: The information above relates to Graduate School deadlines. There are also CDG Program expectations for the dissertation defense process that, while a bit more flexible, are nonetheless to be respected.

These include:

  1. Submitting a CDG Milestone form, signed by either your advisor or a DGS, to both departmental offices, as soon as you know the date you will be defending.
  2. Getting a copy of the completed dissertation to your committee four weeks in advance of the defense, and a penultimate version of the dissertation to your faculty advisor two weeks before that.
  3. In other words, for all intents and purposes, the dissertation needs to be basically finished (and properly formatted) by mid-February for a May graduation or by mid- to late September for a December graduation.

Summer Graduation Timeline

The Spring and Fall Timeline above should be followed with the exception of the information in this section specific to summer.

Note that in every case, you should check deadlines at both UNC and Duke, and comply with the earlier deadline, regardless of your academic home:

  1. A student who wishes to graduate during the summer should expect to retain the administrative home (s)he has had during the preceding year. Changing academic homes for summer enrollment will be extremely rare, and can only be done because of a change in, or loss of, funding.
  2. A student must enroll at both schools during the summer term in which (s)he hopes to graduate, just as (s)he would do during the fall or spring term. Most often, this would include “continuation” enrollment at Duke, as well as 3 credit hours of GERM 994 at UNC (in one of the two sessions).
  3. Defending between terms (i.e., after the Duke spring term defense deadline and before the first day of summer term classes, or after the end of the summer term but before the first day of fall term classes) complicates matters. Please speak with your advisor and CDG program staff as early as possible about your individual circumstances if you think a defense in these time periods is likely, as it will have financial implications for you and the program.
  4. Please note that UNC degrees are awarded in early August, while Duke degrees are awarded in September. The Duke Registrar’s Office has responsibility for ordering CDG diplomas, so please expect summer graduation diplomas and transcripts to be ordered and accurate by mid-fall.

Timeline for  Summer Graduation (For UNC-Based Students)

  1. A student must apply for graduation separately to each graduate school by the Duke deadline, generally in mid-June, for a summer degree.
  2. You must be registered in GERM 994 and pay summer term tuition for one UNC summer session, generally (though not required to be) the one in which you defend. You also have to be registered for the Duke summer term as usual, but you will not be charged Duke tuition if you are homed at UNC.

If you miss the spring term deadlines, but want to avoid paying summer tuition, there is a contingency plan to keep in mind. Assuming you defend any time before the last day BEFORE the first day of the first summer session and were enrolled in the spring, you can graduate in August without enrolling and paying UNC summer tuition. Enrollment and tuition at UNC in this case is not required for the summer. Assuming the student is homed at UNC, Duke tuition would not apply for the summer term although the student must be enrolled.

If you defend on or after the first day of summer term classes, you will need to pay tuition for either ONE of the two UNC summer sessions.
It is also possible for a student who is enrolled for either UNC summer session to defend by the last day before fall classes begin, and then graduate in December, following fall deadlines for graduation activities at both campuses. Enrollment and tuition at UNC in this case is not required for the fall. Assuming the student is homed at UNC, Duke tuition would not apply for the fall term although the student must be enrolled at Duke.

  1. Cost: During the summer term, you must register for 3 hours of GERM 994 (in one of the two sessions). The UNC summer tuition and fee rates are calculated by credit hour and differ for NC residents and non-NC residents.

UNC summer student fees include student health insurance for one summer session. Should you need/want to use Student Health during the other summer session, you can pay the separate student health fee for that extra session.

  1. The deadline to submit your approved dissertation to the UNC Graduate School for a summer degree is generally in mid-July.

Remember that the requirement remains that you have your committee approved at Duke 30 days before your defense and that you provide the names for reporting to UNC at the same time.

  1. Please see the note at the end of the description of the Spring and Fall Timeline for additional CDG program expectations regarding the milestone form and getting the dissertation to your advisor and committee members prior to the defense.

Timeline for Summer Graduation (For Duke-based Students)

  1. A student must apply for graduation separately to each graduate school by the Duke deadline, generally in mid-June, for a summer degree.
  2. You must be registered for the term in which you defend and graduate (normally, but not necessarily, the same term). You also have to be registered for the UNC summer term as usual (in one of the two sessions), but you will not be charged UNC tuition if you are homed at Duke.

If you defend after the spring term deadline in early April, you will need to apply to graduate in summer at Duke, and Duke tuition and fees will be owed for the summer term. You may schedule the defense during either the spring term or the summer term, or in some cases, in between. You can defend between terms if you are registered for both the preceding and following terms (for example, you can defend between spring and summer terms if you are registered for both).

The date for the defense can be any time before the last date to defend in the summer, generally in late July. Please compare this deadline to the UNC dissertation submission deadline in item #4 below, which may be earlier and must be met.

Typically the earliest defense date for a summer degree is just after the last defense date for a spring graduation. The defense can occur between spring and summer terms if the student is registered for both.

A dissertation defense occurring between terms may affect your UNC enrollment requirements so please check with CDG program staff to confirm.

  1. Cost: During summer you will have normal “continuation” enrollment, tuition and health fees.

If you are on a Duke fellowship, you will need to follow these guidelines, and Duke summer tuition will be charged (and paid by your fellowship).

  1. The deadline to submit your approved dissertation to the UNC Graduate School for a summer degree is generally in mid-July.

Remember that the requirement remains that you have your committee approved at Duke 30 days before your defense and that you provide the names for reporting to UNC at the same time.

  1. Please see the note at the end of the description of the Spring and Fall Timeline for additional CDG program expectations regarding the milestone form and getting the dissertation to your advisor and committee members prior to the defense.